“There were days when she was unhappy, and she did not know why,—-when it did not seem worth while to be glad or sorry, to be alive or dead; when life appeared to her like a grotesque pandemonium and humanity like worms struggling blindly toward inevitable annihilation.”— Kate Chopin (“The Awakening”)
“Employee rights are said to be valid when employers pressure employees into sexual activity. Why don’t they quit once the so-called harassment starts? Obviously the morals of the harasser cannot be defended, but how can the harassee escape some responsibility for the problem? Seeking protection under civil rights legislation is hardly acceptable. If force was clearly used, that is another story, but pressure and submission is hardly an example of a violation of one’s employment rights.”—
“In 1919, De Beers experienced a drop in diamond sales that lasted for two decades. So in the 1930s it turned to the firm N.W. Ayer to devise a national advertising campaign—still relatively rare at the time—to promote its diamonds. Ayer convinced Hollywood actresses to wear diamond rings in public, and, according to Edward Jay Epstein in The Rise and Fall of the Diamond, encouraged fashion designers to discuss the new “trend” toward diamond rings. Between 1938 and 1941, diamond sales went up 55 percent. By 1945 an average bride, one source reported, wore “a brilliant diamond engagement ring and a wedding ring to match in design.” The capstone to it all came in 1947, when Frances Gerety—a female copywriter, who, as it happened, never married—wrote the line “A Diamond Is Forever.” The company blazoned it over the image of happy young newlyweds on their honeymoon. The sale of diamond engagement rings continued to rise in the 1950s, and the marriage between romance and commerce that would characterize the American wedding for the next half-century was cemented. By 1965, 80 percent of American women had diamond engagement rings.”—
“In mid-November 2011, Pope Benedict XVI visited Ouidah, Benin to address the public and unveil his most recent exhortation titled Africae Munus (“Africa’s Commitment”). Portions of Africae Munus, and some of the Pope’s accompanying remarks, were deeply disturbing and reminiscent of the Catholic Church’s early rationalization for Christianizing Africa, conquering the Americas as well as parts of South Asia and the Pacific. Among other comments, Pope Benedict voiced opposition to the “syncretism” of Catholicism with indigenous religious beliefs, used descriptive terms such as “occultism” and “evil” in reference to African religions and called for a “profound evangelization” of Africans.”—
At the link above, there is also a petition in support of an open letter to the Pope which you can sign. This open letter (the whole text in PDF here), together with the supporting signatures, will be sent to the Pope.
In media, we always hear about the Evangelical Christians and their zealotry with the “conversion” of non believers. However, the track record of the Catholic Church in the Global South is not any better. As the Pope demonstrated in his visit to Benin, the narrative of forced colonial evangelization continues unabated. In turn, this leads to the oppression and eventual extinction of spiritual practices that have been in use for thousands of years across several continents.
“Since its inception, many have referenced the term—sometimes without attribution to the black feminist intellectual genealogy from which it emerged—as a form of en vogue progressive parlance. In fact, it seems to be the case that it is often referenced in progressive circles as a counterfeit license (as in, “I understand the ways that race, sexuality, class, and gender coalesce. I get it. I really do.”) to enter resistance work even if the person who declares to have a deep “understanding” of the connectedness of systemic matrices of oppression, themselves, have yet to discern and address their own complicity in the maintenance of the very oppressions they seek to name and demolish. I am certain that I am not the only person who has heard a person use language embedded with race, class, gender, or ability privilege follow-up with a reference to “intersectionality.”—
I wanted to quote EVERYTHING in this piece. But I won’t. Instead, I’ll advice you to make this your one “must read” for today. Especially in relation to my disappointment about this (incidentally, the HORRENDOUS and insulting lack of comment moderation is still unaddressed).
Munk debates is making this available for free streaming for the next few days. It was great watching when it first came out—even if Blair’s position is painfully untenable, I’d definitely recommend it.